Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Modern Languages and Literatures (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Steve Butterman

Second Committee Member

B. Christine Arce

Third Committee Member

Elena Grau-Lleveria

Fourth Committee Member

Otavio Bueno


This dissertation analyzes Latin American contemporary female authors’ fictional use of normatively “feminine genres” (i.e., letters and diaries) in the structure of the novel. I illustrate that certain authors re-strategize these forms in order to execute their own interpretation of the novel. Examples of this reconstituting of feminine genres are an artist’s novel, a crônica manifesto, a complex parody of the romance novel and a creative prose journal. The intention is not to relegate these modes of writing to a minor status, but expose their multidimensional literary function and feminist strategies in Latin American women’s fiction. My theoretical intervention posits this body of work as significant in locating feminine and feminist textual agency. This dissertation looks at six authors from different Latin American countries: Elena Poniatowska’s Querido Diego, te abraz Quiela (1978); Sara Sefchovich’s Demasiado amor (1990); Marilene Felinto’s As mulheres de Tijucopapo (1982); and Giovanna Rivero’s Las camaleonas (2001), all of whom re-strategize feminine genres in late 20th century and the 21st century to perform feminist critiques of their particular socio-political, philosophical and literary contexts.


Feminine genres; artist novel; diary; epistolary; cronica; romance novel